Many new parents like to keep both a baby carrier and a stroller on hand. Which mode of baby transport you use will depend on your personal preference and on that of your baby.
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Many new moms and dads enjoy the closeness and intimacy provided by a baby carrier, loving the opportunity to stay close to their little one when they are tiny. Of course, babies quickly grow into little people who enjoy the greater freedom to explore the world around them that a stroller can provide.
Other considerations will include the baby’s size, whether you use public transport, and even where you live. Let’s face it; no new mom wants the hassle of lugging a stroller or bassinet up several flights of stairs to get to their apartment!
In this guide, we compare baby carriers and strollers to give you a clearer idea of what system would work best for you when your baby comes along.
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When your baby first arrives, you may enjoy using a baby carrier because it promotes intimacy and helps to develop a bond between you and your child. Babies love to be close to their parents, and it’s a wonderful feeling for you too. Not only that, but babywearing can have lots of health benefits for your infant, including reducing colic attacks and promoting brain development.
Baby carriers are also much more convenient if you don’t have access to a car and you would prefer not to bring a stroller with you every time you go out.
There are several different styles of baby carriers, including:
- Soft-fabric carriers
- Framed carriers
So, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using baby carriers.
Pros of baby carriers
- Carriers are comforting and safe for your baby.
- A carrier provides you with easier mobility in crowded places.
- A baby carrier allows you to breastfeed while you’re on the move, and provide you with privacy too when your baby needs a feed, and you’re out in public.
Cons of baby carriers
- A baby carrier is not a good idea for you if you have back or shoulder problems, especially if you have a very big baby.
- You can usually only carry one child in a carrier, although some models will take two.
- With your baby in a carrier, you’ll find it difficult to carry essentials like diapers, wet wipes, drinks, etc.
Many parents prefer a stroller to a baby carrier because it allows their baby to lie comfortably and sleep while mom is busy running errands. Some moms prefer the idea that an older baby can look around and interact with their environment more easily in a stroller than in a carrier.
When your baby becomes too heavy to carry, a stroller becomes a necessity. And there are many different styles of strollers to choose from, depending on your lifestyle, including:
- Umbrella strollers
- Jogging strollers
- Double strollers
- All-terrain strollers
- Lightweight, regular strollers
- Travel strollers
Also, if you frequently travel by car, you can get yourself a convertible stroller for the ultimate travel convenience!
Like baby carriers, strollers have advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of strollers
- Strollers are easy to push compared with carrying a heavy baby around.
- Double strollers can accommodate more than one child, which is an essential consideration if you’re blessed with twins.
- Most modern strollers include storage baskets and pockets for your grocery shopping and your baby essentials.
- Your baby is less likely to overheat in a stroller than he is when held up against your body, especially in hot weather.
Cons of strollers
- A stroller can be a pain if you’re trying to maneuver through crowded city streets or narrow store aisles.
- Some styles of strollers are bulky and tricky to fold, especially with a baby in your arms.
Baby carrier vs. Stroller for travel
If you plan on taking days out with your child, a baby carrier presents the obvious physical limitation. Even the fittest and strongest mom or dad might struggle to walk all day carrying a large baby. That’s where a stroller wins the race.
Granted, a baby carrier is easier to put into your car trunk but most lightweight, umbrella strollers fold up into a compact package that won’t take up too much space. Also, most strollers of this type can be folded easily and quickly, using just one hand. Older kids are usually happier in a stroller where they can see everything and enjoy what’s going on around them.
If you are a frequent car traveler, it’s worth investing in a travel system. A travel system allows you to remove the bassinet or seat from the stroller frame and place it into the car where it forms a safe car seat. That’s ideal for moving sleeping babies without disturbing them.
Train, bus, and airplane travel are all easier if you use a baby carrier instead of a stroller. You won’t have the hassle of folding a stroller and finding somewhere to put it once you board your chosen mode of public transport. That said, the GB Pockit and the Babyzen Yoyo stroller both fold into super-light, compact packages that weigh just over nine pounds and will fit easily into most airplane and train overhead storage lockers!
However, if you are traveling by air, you may find that transporting a small infant in a baby carrier will save you a whole lot of hassle when it comes to negotiating security checkpoints, customs, etc. where a stroller could be a handicap. Also, a tiny baby won’t be used to the hustle and bustle of a crowded airport terminal and may feel safer, calmer, and more relaxed in the womb-link environment of a carrier.
Wrapping it up
For many parents, a baby carrier and a stroller can both fill an important role in family life. You may enjoy carrying your newborn close to you for the first few months of their life, but a stroller could be a more practical and comfortable option for both parties when the infant is older, bigger, and heavier.
So, take pleasure from the closeness and tenderness provided by a baby carrier for the early days of your baby’s life, and then allow your older child the freedom to grow and explore the world from the safety and comfort of a stroller.